Friday Napster Freebies (Week of Dec 2 - Dec 8)

by Erica Sadun

Do you live somewhere without an iTunes store? Or even somewhere with an iTunes store but without any freebies? Feeling a little bit left out and ignored as all those marvelous free items pass you by? Want to get in on the action?

Well, it seems like there may be a slight loophole in the Napster Freebies system. Several international readers (from Australia, France, Germany and the UK) report they've been able to download tracks from my O'Reilly Friday Napster posts but not from the Napster site itself.

Do these freebies work for you? Do they play back in iTunes and on your iPod? Let me know in the comments.

"American Me" by C.L. Smooth
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth made some of the most memorable tracks of hip hop's Golden Era. Now on a solo mission sans his super-producer partner, C.L. delivers the title track to his solo debut, picking up where he left off. [Dec 8]

"The Land of Pure Imagination" by Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
His early, insatiable hunger for music led this veteran keyboardist/arranger/singer to gigs with Jellyfish, Moog Cookbook, Air, and Beck.Those influences are reflected in this track's wild synths, tempo shifts and '70s-style guitar riffs. [Dec 7]

"The Mating Game" by Bitter:Sweet
Take one founding member of the Supreme Beings of Leisure, mix with the daughter of a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and you get this cool duo. Listen and be swept away on a sultry yet zany Las Vegas/James Bondish excursion. [Dec 6]

"Fall Away (State I'm In)" by Chris Ayer
This well-traveled bard has been described as "Bright Eyes mixed with James Taylor in the form of James Dean." Hear it for yourself with this track from his debut full-length album, This Is the Place. [Dec 5]

"Turn" by Socratic
After years of marching with the emo pack, this Garden State foursome has come into its own with the help of producer John Goodmanson of Hot Hot Heat fame. Get it first on Napster. [Dec 4]

"Showbiz" by Lyrycyst
After surviving childhood abuse, this Kansas City, Missouri phenom embarked on a musical mission. This edgy hip-hop grinder from the diverse American Dream presents his positive message while showcasing his substantial skills. [Dec 3]

"What's Wrong with Me (Nouvelle Vague Remix)" by Skye
Time in the limelight has taught this former Morcheeba singer about inner strength, which she says has helped her writing. "This record is more personal," she says. "This is my own journey." This remix lends the track an even more organic feel. [Dec 2]